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City-parish tears down man's childhood home by mistake

1 year 4 months 4 weeks ago Monday, February 13 2023 Feb 13, 2023 February 13, 2023 7:23 PM February 13, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mia Monet

BATON ROUGE - A house in Baton Rouge was torn down and the property owner says the city-parish has made a huge mistake.

Tony Wallace’s mom died in 2013. Since then, Wallace has taken ownership of her home along 37th Street. He has dreams of renovating the house once he's saved up enough money.

On Feb. 6, Wallace says he received a devastating phone call.

“I had got a call from a neighbor saying, 'You know your house is being torn down?' Which I didn't know. I was at work. I was like 'no I don’t know.'"

It all started in April of 2022. He received notice from the city-parish listing concerns about the property. However, he says some things listed were simply not true.

“You said the roof was collapsing, 50 percent of the roof was demolished. If the roof was demolishing, there would be a hole in the roof or something, which it wasn't,” Wallace said. 

Wallace says when he appeared before the Metro Council, they told him to tear down the back porch and the house would be up to code, which he did.

“I sent them pictures of what we did and that's when they told me once I paid the fine it was going to be taken off the rescinded list."

According to public documents, the property was taken off the condemnation list back in August 2022. But now, Wallace looks at an empty lot of what used to be his childhood home. 

“It’s something for my nephews to have if I’m not here. They never even saw their grandmother but it's something that we can keep for them. And now it’s gone,” Wallace said.

The city-parish has referred the property owner to the parish attorney's office to file a claim. A spokesperson said they are examining their process to try to keep this from happening again.

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